What Are The 12 Worst Foods For Memory?
What Are The 10 Worst Foods For Memory?

What Are The 13 Worst Foods For Memory?

What Are The 10 Worst Foods For Memory?

Did you lose your train of thought while speaking or forget why you entered a room? You might assume that’s just part of the natural aging process, but it could also be related to what you eat.

Refined carbs, fast food, processed meat, vegetable oils, and sugary drinks have detrimental effects on your brain. They can deplete your IQ while also impairing your memory and emotions.

To improve or maintain your memory function, you should consume more brain-boosting foods such as dark chocolate, avocados, fatty salmon, berries, and broccoli. 

The brain consumes 20% to 30% of the calories you ingest, making it the body’s most energy-hungry organ. 

In terms of cognitive function, whatever you eat or drink matters. Maintaining optimal brain health necessitates eating a nutritious diet. 

This article explores the thirteen worst foods for memory that can cause you to struggle with forgetfulness if you consume too much of them.

Let’s dig in!

1. Refined Carbs

Refined carbs like sugar and processed grains quickly increase your blood sugar levels, decreasing your brain function and affecting your memory.

Such refined carbs’ glycemic index (GI) is often high, meaning they quickly digest, increasing blood sugar and insulin levels.

Furthermore, when consumed in significant quantities, these meals create a high glycemic load (GL) in your body (GL indicates how much a food elevates blood sugar levels per serving).

People who consume a lot of fat and refined sugar have poorer memory. The memory effect may be due to inflammation of your hippocampus (the brain region that impacts memory and reactivity to hunger). 

Inflammation is a risk factor for degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

Foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains are examples of low-GI carbohydrates which are good for the brain.

Do note that Carbs aren’t all terrible. Whole grains benefit your health and are one of the best foods for your brain. 

Fiber is present in carbs like whole-grain bread and brown rice pasta that your body digest more slowly, helping to control your blood sugar better. Moreover, you’ll have a consistent energy supply to help you concentrate more.

2. Processed meat

Those who eat highly-processed meats, including sausages, cured meats, and pâté, have a higher risk of dementia, according to research published in Neurology in April 2020

Dementia is a word that refers to a group of symptoms that affect a person’s cognitive abilities. It primarily affects their capacity to think, recall, and reason which worsens with time.

Although the above study couldn’t establish cause and effect, several studies show that consuming highly processed proteins isolates your central nervous system, increasing the risk of developing a degenerative brain disease like Alzheimer’s.

In contrast, natural proteins such as eggs or beans are the building blocks of muscles, and eating more of such proteins, helps your body to operate appropriately. Beans are a fantastic source of protein (saturated fat-free), magnesium, B vitamins, and other brain-boosting nutrients.

We advise that you make beans the focal point of your dish instead of items that induce memory loss, such as steak. 

3. Vegetable oils

Although safflower, maize, sunflower, and canola oils appear healthy, they are all heavy in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 is a kind of fat that can impair your cognitive function if consumed in large amounts.

Eating too many omega-6-rich meals might negate the cognitive advantages of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 deficiency might affect your capacity to learn and remember things.

Most people who follow the typical American diet have an alarming omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio of 20-to-1 or greater, which is not good for your memory. The ideal ratio is probably less than 3-to-1 (omega-6 to omega-3).

Studies also show that when the ratio favors omega-6, it’s linked to an elevated risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

Protective fatty acids, such as those in walnuts and chia seeds, are ideal instead of vegetable oils. They’re an excellent source of Omega-3s.

4. Excessive alcohol

Alcohol may be a pleasant accompaniment to dinner when taken in moderation. But excessive intake might negatively affect the brain, causing brain shrinkage and metabolic abnormalities.

Alcohol impairs short-term memory by decreasing the communication between nerves in the hippocampus. The hippocampus serves a crucial function in memory formation and maintenance. 

Chronic alcohol abuse disrupts neurotransmitters, which are chemicals used by the brain to communicate. 

Furthermore, Vitamin B1 deficiency is common in chronic drinkers. Vitamin B1 is a vital vitamin that is good for memory; its deficiency can lead to a brain disorder known as Wernicke’s encephalopathy (WE), which can progress to Korsakoff’s syndrome. 

Korsakoff’s syndrome is characterized by significant brain injury, including blackout, vision abnormalities, disorientation, and instability.

The reason a deficit in vitamin B1 or thiamine is common among alcoholics is due to the following:

  • People who consume a lot of alcohol may not eat a balanced diet and so miss out on essential nutrients
  • Excessive alcohol can irritate your stomach lining, affecting its ability to absorb nutrients, including vitamin B1
  • Heavy drinking can trigger vomiting, which prevents nutrients from being absorbed by the stomach and intestines

Chronic drinking of alcohol also causes blackouts causing heavy drinkers not to recall small essential information. Small instances include forgetting where one’s keys are, to larger ones, like forgetting what happened the night before.

To keep your brain healthy and productive, drink alcohol in moderation, or our best advice is to avoid drinking alcohol altogether.

5. Sugary drinks

Excess sugary drink consumption raises the risk of type 2 diabetes, linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, people without diabetes but who have high blood sugar levels have a high risk of suffering from dementia.

Examples of sugary drinks include soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juice. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose, is a significant component of many sugary beverages.

Excessive consumption of sugar drinks causes obesity, high blood pressure, high blood lipids, diabetes, and vascular dysfunction. These characteristics of metabolic syndrome may raise the long-term risk of dementia development.

High fructose consumption is linked to insulin resistance in the brain. It also decreases animal brain function, memory, learning, and neuron development.

Rather than consume sugary drinks, it’s best to drink water, unsweetened iced tea, vegetable juice, and unsweetened dairy products, which are good alternatives for your brain.

6. Fish rich in Mercury, such as Tuna

While a tuna sandwich sometimes isn’t a huge problem, you might want to reconsider making it your go-to lunch. Tuna, along with swordfish, shark (flake), billfish, and deep-sea perch, has greater mercury levels than many other forms of seafood.

Studies show that high consumption of seafood increases the Mercury level in the brain, leading to poor performance. However, this does not mean you should permanently exclude seafood from your diet since they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. 

Various health organizations recommend eating 2-3 servings of fish and seafood per week. 

Your seafood can include canned or fresh Tuna (one serving equals 150g), fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines. 

Fishes like orange roughy (deep sea perch), catfish, shark (flake), or billfish (swordfish/marlin) should only be consumed once per week, and no other fish that week.

A reason for consuming fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is that fat makes up around 60% of your brain, with omega-3 fatty acids accounting for half of that fat. Omega-3 fatty acids help your brain create brain and nerve cells and are crucial for learning and memory improvement.

Another reason is that omega-3s may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease by slowing age-related mental deterioration. On the other hand, a lack of omega-3 fatty acids is related to learning disabilities and depression.

7. Trans Fats

Trans fats damage the brain since they slow it down. They are also a significant contributor to heart disease and obesity and are the leading cause of high cholesterol. They also impact your reflexes, not to mention an elevated chance of stroke.

Trans fats found naturally in animal products such as meat and dairy are not a significant health risk. However, industrial-generated trans fats, commonly known as hydrogenated vegetable oils, are a problem.

Trans fats, when consumed for too long, may affect your brain differently. They can produce a type of cerebrovascular constriction comparable to the shrinking caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

The brain shrinks due to trans fats gradually damaging the arteries. You can lower your risk of stroke by limiting your trans fat consumption.

Artificial trans fats are mainly found in foods such as margarine, icing, snack, ready-made cakes, and prepackaged cookies.

Switching to butter, lard, and tallow, which are very low in trans fats, is one alternative for replacing trans fats.

8. Fast food

High quantities of saturated fat in fatty burgers and fries make it more challenging to combat plaque-causing Alzheimer’s disease. Eating a lot of greasy fast food might cause your pancreas to create more insulin which has a frightening relationship to dementia.

Furthermore, the salt content of a typical fast-food meal might produce brain fog and high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can:

  • Restrict blood flow to the brain
  • Increases the risk of stroke 
  • Impair attention, organizational abilities, and memory

According to research conducted at RMIT University in Australia, people who ate a lot of fast food fared worse on simple memory tasks.

Fast food and other junk foods have been linked to impaired memory speed, flexibility, neuroplasticity, and prospective memory (ability to recall what you intended to do). Neuroplasticity is the process by which our brains encode our experiences as memories.

It’s best to consume fresh fruits and veggies with inflammation-fighting antioxidants, including polyphenols and vitamin E.

9. Aspartame

Aspartame is a sugar substitute. It is a white, odorless powdered sweetener that is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar and is used in many foods and drinks that aren’t intended for people with diabetes.

Aspartame is a popular choice when reducing weight or avoiding sweets if you have diabetes. However, when consumed in excess, Aspartame can affect the brain’s ability to use serotonin, impacting learning and emotions negatively. 

One study showed that people who consumed diets high in Aspartame were more irritable, had a higher rate of depression, and performed poorly on mental tests. 

Aspartame is also a chemical stressor; it consists of Phenylalanine that can pass the blood-brain barrier, disrupting neurotransmitter synthesis that may make the brain more vulnerable to oxidative stress.

Despite these findings, Aspartame is still a safe sweetener if consumed daily at 40–50 mg per kg or less. According to these recommendations, a 68-kg individual should consume no more than 3,400 mg of Aspartame daily.

A packet of sweetener has around 35 mg of Aspartame, whereas a standard 12-ounce (340-ml) can of diet soda contains approximately 180 mg. The amounts may differ depending on the brand.

You could try eliminating artificial sweeteners and added sugar from your diet.

10. Cheese

Unfortunately, cheese and pizza are the highest sources of saturated fat in the American diet. Saturated fat clogs your brain vessels, just as it clogs your heart vessels. 

Higher levels of saturated fat are related to brain inflammation, a higher risk of stroke, and memory loss.

Avocados are a creamy, plant-based alternative to cheese if you don’t have heart problems. Avocados are rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and stroke risk. They’re also high in folate, a nutrient linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

11. White Rice

Consuming many refined carbs, such as white rice, may increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in people who may be genetically prone.

The brain demands a steady supply of glucose to function. When the body breaks down carbs, it releases sugar into the bloodstream. The brain uses this sugar as fuel to power its neurons, which are cells that transmit information throughout the body.

Some foods release sugar more quickly than others, known as high glycemic index (GI) foods. These foods include white rice and other refined grains, potatoes, and sugary drinks like sodas and fruit juices. 

Low glycemic index (GI) foods such as most fruits and vegetables release their sugars more slowly. Eating a diet high in low glycemic index foods has been shown to improve memory function while eating a diet high in high GI foods can cause memory problems or even a lapse in memory altogether.

12. Soy sauce

Soy sauce is a condiment that is often used in Asian cuisine. 

However, it can harm your memory. The high monosodium glutamate (MSG) content in soy sauce can restrict blood to the brain and negatively impair focus, organizational skills, and memory.

The use of soy sauce during cooking should be limited as much as possible and avoided altogether. We recommend that you opt for eel sauce to help you stay focused and laser-sharp.

13. Bottled dressings and syrup

Bottled dressings are loaded with sugar, sodium, and refined oils, which can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Some of them contain artificial sweeteners, which have been linked to memory loss.

Syrups are also loaded with sugar and other ingredients used in making soda, leading to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and a decline in brain performance. 

We recommend you read the ingredients carefully on the label of the bottled dressing brand and syrup you use to see what it consists of and try doing your salad dressings yourself instead.


If you want a better memory and alert brain, consume less processed meals and vegetable oils. Instead, take more raw veggies, fruits, butter, and fatty fish.

Replace sodas and carbonated beverages with freshly squeezed juices, teas, and mineral water. It would be good if you focused on less fried meals and more boiled and baked.

Eliminate bad carbs from your diet, such as those found in sweets and chocolate indulgences, and replace them with the natural sugars found in fruits, fresh fruit juices, and honey.

On top of a healthy diet, you can further boost your memory with our courses on maximizing memory and personal productivity.

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  • Jeanne-Clarita Seymour

    This is great for the ministry I plan on having for women, called Rose Petal Ministries. Thank you.

  • L.Brown

    Look at the obits
    You’ll find Italian woman and all those countries that eat a Mediterranean diet, have a longer lifespan..

  • John

    Absolutely true on the fried foods typically found in Fast Food Restaurants and on menus in other restaurants – onion rings fried fish, chicken McNug’s etc etc. They fog me up EVERY time I ( oh so infrequently) have any of that stuff. – They are really something to stay as far away from as possible. That type of food does not even fall into the “only in moderation” category!